least 23 journalists in West African English speaking countries have recently
concluded a three-day training course on economic and financial reporting.
Sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and conducted by UK-based Thomson Reuters Foundation, participants came from Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
Information minister Ebrima Sillah said journalists have a great role to play in helping consumers and businesses to understand the economic status of their country. “Helping these journalists by exposing them to some of the new technics and fundamentals will go a long way in shaping their understanding of the realities, especially on consumer behavior and the market.”
He said there have been a fundamental shift in West Africa from conflict to adapting democracy and good governance, saying that will help businesses to flourish. “With the way we are going in Africa, it is fundamental that the media adapt to the changing process. This cannot happen without constant training and capacity building,” he stated.
Minister Sillah reiterated that the government cannot do everything alone, saying the country’s media houses don’t have the capacity to financially conduct this kind of training.
He said IMF came at the right time when West Africa is moving toward the direction of adapting a single currency integration and at the same time helping journalists to break complex issues into a very simple language for people to understand businesses to adapt.
“I reported for BBC for 10 years but I rarely report on business because it requires one to have the knowledge, technical know-how and to break down the difficult jargons for people to understand.”
He appealed to IMF to look into other areas within the greater issues of financial and economic reporting so that journalists can continue to be exposed.
Lucie Mboto Fouda, senior communication officer of IMF thanked delegates for their participation in the training, adding that this is the beginning of the networking relationship. “I hope that you have learnt something that will be able to help you in your work on a daily basis.”